A Dream Come True

ZHANG Lin, one of CEIBS Global EMBA01 Alumni
Partner and Corporate Coach, Keystone Group (Shanghai) Ltd.

This year marks a tenth anniversary for my graduation from the CEIBS EMBA Programme and the fifth year since I participated in the Mentoring Programme. As a four-session mentor (abbreviation for mentors who have participated in four sessions of the Programme), I have kept 17 MBA students (12 from China and 5 from overseas) company in succession during their arduous learning journey. Even after their graduation, I have kept in contact with them to stay informed of their continued progress.

Year 2009 signaled an end to my career as a professional manager and a beginning of my entrepreneurship as a corporate coach. When signing up for a coach programme offered by the Columbia University, I was invited by CEIBS as a mentor for the 1st Mentoring Programme. Six MBA students selected me as their mentor. To my relief, all of them have climbed higher up the career ladder. In addition, three of them have been married within two years after graduation.

The mentoring process brought me many rewards, including a positive lifestyle, self-tempering, and a path to freedom and pleasure. 

I have adopted a positive and balanced lifestyle or LOHAS. During the Mentoring Programme, we, together with other CEIBS alumni, have become study partners. It is both a commitment and the God’s will. We and mentees treat each other as equals, with new opportunities to examine ourselves as reflected on the other side. As a mentor, we do have a bit more experience than our mentees, but their enthusiasm, novel ideas and courage to face the music merit our special attention.

I have also made friends with other mentors in the same camp. To meet with the challenges from our life and career, we have conducted in-depth exchange to encourage and enlighten each other. I, together with other mentors and their mentees, often organize a small salon for mock interviews, exploration of career development and industrial prospect, and discussion on the female professional managers’ role. During the post-EMBA period, we are committed to living a healthy life by widening our horizon, improving our moral standards and showing great dedication so that we can burst with vim and vigor, stay quick-witted and sharp-minded, and get engaged in colorful networking.

Being a mentor necessitates professional skills. During the mentoring, one mentee mentioned his lack of enthusiasm in getting along with others. If this question were posed by one of our friends, we would tend to act as a counselor by offering him our own experience. As a matter of fact, refraining from coming up with any suggestion, however, is the most efficient way to help our mentees know more about themselves and unlock their potential. Thus, by exploring his self-image and life experience, we required the mentee to describe what he expected of himself and encouraged him to make some specific changes.

Over the past few years, our mentees have attached greater importance to interaction with others. My mentees show preference for group study in order to enlighten and motivate each other through interaction. Recently, we have adopted a new mentoring way of chatting while strolling. My mentees and I walk out of the classroom and campus to commune with the Nature so as to get refreshed and drive inspiration.

My role as a mentor has undergone four stages: accompaniment and encouragement in the 1st session; mentoring and enlightening in the 2nd session; interaction and innovation in the 3rd session; pursuing all-round development in the 4th session. My mentoring experience has provided me with a stream of passion and creativity. On this occasion, I would like to extend my thanks to my mentees for their trust, dedication, candid reflection, and endeavor to make required changes. Keeping pace with each other, we and our mentees will gain life-long benefits from our firm commitment. It is my sincere hope that the CEIBS MBA Mentoring Programme will evolve into a happy home, where more alumni can show their devotion, examine themselves, reap benefits and grow along with their mentees.